Monday, June 22, 2009

Sinfully Tagged

"Sometimes you can learn more about a person by what they don’t tell you. Sometimes you can learn a lot from the things they just make up. If you are tagged with this Meme, lie to me. Then tag 7 other folks (one for each deadly sin) and hope they can lie."

Stacy Nyikos tagged me with this one.. I'm sooo bad at lying, but I'll give it a try.. :) At least you can't see my expression. 

Pride: What is your biggest contribution to the world? 

The project I'm working on to combat global warming that combines International History, Physics, and Meteorology. Somehow, all the school subjects I tanked and dropped in college are now paying for my multimillion dollar beach house. 

Envy: What do your coworkers wish they had which is yours? 

Definitely, my Barbie bootie and it's not plastic.. (hee hee) :) 

Gluttony: What did you eat last night? 

A plateful of shrimp. :) 

Lust: What really lights your fire? 

A Ken doll type guy. Blond hair and blue eyes and nothing but air upstairs.

Anger: What is the last thing that really pissed you off? 

When my daughter cleaned up after herself this morning. :) 

Greed: Name something you keep from others. 

Gum. When someone has nasty breath, it's up to someone else to hand them a piece. I love, smelly, nasty breath blowing in my face like a fan. :) 

Sloth: What's the laziest thing you've ever done?
Once I slept for twenty four hours straight. 

Whew!! That was fun!! :)  

Okay, I'll tag anyone who wants to play and Carrie Harris..  

and six volunteers.. :) 

Happy Monday!! :) 

Monday, June 15, 2009

First Review and a Shark.. :)

I was thrilled to open up my inbox on Friday and find a link to this review of CHANGE UP.. 

The second book by Keri Mikulski is a strong, fun and real good new YA novel. In a sea of dark Ya novels that seems to be the trend now, Keri Mikulski has launched a fresh read, that is, in my opinion, THE book pick of this summer. It is really good. Screwball, the first book, was great. And with Change Up, Keri Mikulski has reached a new book peak. Even if you are not that into sports, you will love this new sunny novel. And for the second time, Keri Mikulski's book is rated 5 stars! Make sure you got this book in your beach bag!

Thanks, Marjolein!! :) 

Right now, I'm in between college teaching assignments, CHANGE UP promotion, finishing up revisions on a new sporty novel and spending some much needed down time with the family. 

Here's what we've been doing during our down time.. 

1. Quiet time on the beach before the vacationers roll down 
2. Walking and riding bikes on the semi-deserted boardwalk
3. Playing tons of basketball and soccer at the local field
4. Hanging out with visiting family and friends - love summer!
5. Looking up stuff that washed up on the bay - like this shark and the biggest sea turtle ever (didn't have my camera)..
What do you like to do during your down time? 

Cute Kaci Moment: Kaci just ran into my office jumping up and down, smiling, and screaming.. "Mommy, ice comes from water. Ice comes from water. I love ice and I love water." :) Gotta love three.  

Happy a fabulous day! :) 

Thursday, June 11, 2009

A BFF Giveaway & The Geek Girl's Guide to Cheerleading Takes Over for the Day

I'm honored to welcome the fabulous and super nice Darcy and Charity, authors of THE GEEK GIRL'S GUIDE TO CHEERLEADING to my blog today to talk about writing a book together. Not only are they amazing author partners, but they're also extremely generous. Go here to enter to win a Geek Girl BFF prize bag which contains a copy of their book, an IPOD shuffle, and lots more for you and your BFF.. 

Writing Together

Darcy and I met more than ten years ago when we each signed up for a free online writing class and then joined an internet writing community. We became fans of each other’s work, then critique partners, then friends. And then, through a few twists of fate, we became co-authors.

A few weeks ago, Darcy wrote down a few of the guidelines that helped us through the process of writing together. Today, I add my take as well--because this is the way we work. She sends me something, I tweak it, and then send it back (and vice versa).

Darcy says: Charity says on writing together:

Darcy says: Choose a partner that you genuinely admire, respect…and like. You will be spending a lot of time with your co-author.

Charity says: A word of caution: someone can be a great writer and not-such-a-great online communicator. We had the advantage of many years of online communicating already behind us before we started working together.

Darcy says: Stash your ego in the closet for the duration of the project. It isn’t about you and it isn’t about her (or him). It’s about the book.

Charity says: So true. I don’t have much to add to this one except stashing your ego in the closet is all around good advice for writing and publishing.

Darcy says: Examine your own strengths and weaknesses and understand your role in the project. Charity was the chief engineer of our novel due to her amazing plotting abilities. I was the “sparkly eyeliner applier” due to my generally goofy nature. The book needed both of us.

Charity says: We also found that when one of us didn’t understand something in one of our revision letters, the other did. And when we both didn’t understand, we could puzzle it out together.

Darcy says: Communicate, communicate, communicate. Don’t let trouble fester. If you are frustrated by some aspect of the story or the process, talk it out. Chances are, if you’re feeling uncomfortable, your partner is too—and that’s counterproductive to good writing.

Charity says: Also, if you’re frustrated with a scene, there’s nothing like handing it off to your writing partner to “fix.” But our best ideas came when we were working together, brainstorming via IM. What seemed insurmountable worked itself out when we worked together.

Darcy says: Enjoy the process! Writing a novel together is a unique and amazing experience. Have fun with it!

Charity says: And when you have something to celebrate, you get twice the excitement and joy. 

Thanks, Charity and Darcy!! Sounds like a blast. 

Here's the blurb: 

When Bethany -- self-proclaimed geek girl -- makes the varsity cheerleading squad, she realizes that there's one thing worse than blending in with the lockers: getting noticed. She always felt comfortable as part of the nerd herd, but being a member of the most scrutinized group in her school is weighing her down like a ton of textbooks. Even her Varsity Cheerleading Guide can't answer the really tough questions, like: How do you maintain some semblance of dignity while wearing an insanely short skirt? What do you do when the head cheerleader spills her beer on you at your first in-crowd party? And how do you know if your crush likes you for your mind...or your pom-poms?

One thing's for sure: It's going to take more than brains for this girl genius to cheer her way to the top of the pyramid. 

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

YA Summer Playlist

The amazing Dissecting Perfection gathered together a bunch of Young Adult authors and bloggers to contribute their fave summer song to a YA Summer Playlist. Check it out here

I don't pretend to be a music mogul and as some of you already know, I'm obsessed with nineties tunes (note my "Summertime" contribution), but I'm downloading a bunch of the recommended songs to my IPod right now and they're good. :) 

Have a fabulous Tuesday! 

Friday, June 5, 2009

My First Time

Last night, I had the pleasure of meeting fellow Jersey girl and the ultra amazing author of the best selling Jessica Darling series, Megan McCafferty
Megan was the first author who inspired me to write novels. After I devoured and loved every page of SLOPPY FIRSTS three years ago, I emailed her and she shot a personal email back filled with tons of advice. We've kept in contact since then and I continue to feel inspired every time I pick up one of her books. Megan's writing is fearless, honest, and unique and she consistently challenges herself as an author. 

When I walked into Barnes and Nobles last night, my expectations were high since this paragraph from Megan's second novel, SECOND HELPINGS, caused me to laugh out loud for the first time while reading...

"I imagine Manda trying on her Prom Queen tiara when she's thirty, Sara wanting to relive the days when her brainless scoop was a commodity, and Scotty, thick with frat fat, unable to run to the closest keg without getting winded, crying along with "Glory Days" on the radio because what Springsteen is singing is so true, so true." (page 340)

Megan exceeded all expectations. Not only was she as hilarious in person as she is on the pages, she was also super nice. Thanks, Megan for your advice, guidance, and for my new mantra - Keep writing because you HAVE to.  
Who inspires you? Or who makes you laugh out loud?

Have a fabulous weekend, everyone! 
(Note about the pictures - In my hair's defense - it was a very humid and rainy night. :))

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

June Book Review Club

Happy June everyone! Summer is here and I'm loving it. Eighty degrees, sunny, and time to relax on the beach with an amazing book (actually, I used to - now, I happily make sand castles, dig up crabs, play soccer, collect seashells, and hang out in the frigid water). :) 

The first Wednesday of the month means another edition of The Book Review Club hosted by Barrie Summy, author of I So Don't Do Mysteries. Today, I'm featuring one of the ten novels chosen for my annual South Jersey Mom magazine Chick Lit Pick's Beach Reads column. 

The Year of the Fog
By: Michelle Richmond

During a shoreline stroll, Abby Mason stops for a split second to snap a picture of a baby seal and when she looks up, her soon to be stepdaugther, Emma, is gone. Follow Abby and her family as they enter the tormenting world of searching for a missing child. Get swept away by this edge- of-your-seat emotional thriller.

Every parents worst nightmare is losing a child. Although THE YEAR OF THE FOG is emotionally tough to read at times, the flashback technique used by Richmond makes the novel impossible to put down. I'm recommending this month's book to anyone who has children or share the fear of losing someone. :)

Check out the rest of the reviews here

Have a wonderful Wednesday!! :)